Youngstown State University College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is always finding ways to encourage young students, especially young women, to explore the endless possibilities of STEM careers. The 17th Annual Edward W. Powers Women in Science and Engineering Career Workshop (WISE) is one of those events.
On April 26th, 2014, young women from all around the Youngstown area explored several career options from forensic dentistry to dieticians to environmental engineers. Starting off with the keynote speaker Dr. Mara Prentiss, the students learned that there is more to DNA than what our parents give us. She showed students many different parts of her research, like her work on DNA strand-exchange.
Two career sessions followed the keynote speaker, and the girls were separated into groups. In these groups, they were introduced to many kinds of careers. Ana Burns, the coordinator for ecological services at Davey Resource Group, has been in the ecology and biology fields for over 10 years. She explained to students the importance of the local bat population and the types of diseases that are killing the bats. Furthermore, Ana explained the environmental ramifications without the bat population, like the increase of disease spreading mosquitos.
Other professionals from different industries were also there. Sally Bieber, who works for General Motors, told the students about what kinds of opportunities her jobs grants her. She has travelled all over Europe because part of her job is to work with the GM Design Center in Rüsselsheim, Germany. With plans already in the works for a new car in 2016, Sally has been busy making sure everything runs smoothly as a process engineer.
After lunch, the girls were then able to participate in a couple hands-on activities and labs. The hands-on activities are really what make the day for the students. The students were able to participate in labs like computer programming, the math behind epidemics, and forensics of DNA fingerprinting and crime scene investigations.
On behalf of the STEM College, thank you to all of the speakers, presenters, and volunteers that come out to WISE. We couldn’t continue to encourage diversity in STEM without you!